On This Day

On This Day in History for December 5

Events in History

Event of interestEvent of Interest

63 BC Cicero reads the last of his Catiline Orations

Roman Statesman & Philosopher Cicero
Roman Statesman & Philosopher
  • 663 Fourth Council of Toledo takes place

Event of interestEvent of Interest

771 Charlemagne becomes the sole King of the Franks after the death of his brother Carloman

Holy Roman Emperor Charlemagne
Holy Roman Emperor
  • 1082 Ramon Berenguer II, Count of Barcelona is assassinated
  • 1301 Pope Boniface VIII's decree Ausculta fili (only nominee)

Historic DiscoveryBlack Death

1349 500 Jews of Nuremberg massacred during Black Death riots

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Medieval painting from 1353 showing the citizens of Tournai (today in Belgium) burying victims of the Black Death
Medieval painting from 1353 showing the citizens of Tournai (today in Belgium) burying victims of the Black Death
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  • 1360 The French Franc is created
  • 1408 Emir Edigu of Golden Horde reaches Moscow
  • 1448 Bishop Jona of Moscow chosen as metropolitan of Kiev/Intoxication
  • 1456 Earthquake strikes Naples; about 35,000 die

DiscoveryHistoric Discovery

1492 Christopher Columbus discovers Hispaniola (El Espanola/Haiti)

Explorer of the New World Christopher Columbus
Explorer of the New World
Christopher Columbus
  • 1496 Jews are expelled from Portugal by order of King Manuel I
  • 1590 Niccolo Sfondrati chosen as Pope Gregory XIV
  • 1602 Giulio Caccini's "Euridice" premieres in Florence

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1623 First copies purchased of William Shakespeare's First Folio, collecting his plays posthumously into one volume, bought by Edward Dering

<b>Pirate</b> AttackPirate Attack

1717 English pirate Blackbeard ransacks the merchant sloop "Margaret" and keeps her captain, Henry Bostock prisoner for 8 hours before releasing him. Bostock later provides 1st record of Blackbeard's appearance, and the source for his name

Pirate Blackbeard
  • 1741 -6] Russian princess Elisabeth Petrovna grabs powers
  • 1746 Revolt in Genoa against Spanish rule.
  • 1757 Battle of Leuthen: Prussian army beats Austrians
  • 1766 World's largest auction house - Christie's hold their first sale in their permanent saleroom in Pall Mall, London
  • 1775 At Fort Ticonderoga, Henry Knox begins his historic transport of artillery to Cambridge, Massachusetts.
  • 1776 First US fraternity, Phi Beta Kappa (William & Mary College), forms

Electoral defeatElection of Interest

1792 George Washington re-elected as US President

First US President George Washington
First US President
George Washington
  • 1798 Dutch troops occupy Hasselt

Electoral defeatElection of Interest

1804 Thomas Jefferson re-elected US President, George Clinton Vice President

3rd US President Thomas Jefferson
3rd US President
Thomas Jefferson
US Vice President George Clinton
US Vice President
George Clinton
  • 1813 Lübeck surrenders to allied armies
  • 1815 Foundation of Maceió in Brazil.
  • 1831 Former US President John Q Adams takes his seat as a member of House of Representatives

Electoral defeatElection of Interest

1832 Andrew Jackson re-elected US President after defeating Henry Clay

US President & General Andrew Jackson
US President & General
Andrew Jackson
Legislator and Orator Henry Clay
Legislator and Orator
Henry Clay
  • 1835 - 10th: Assault on Mexican-held San Antonio by Texan rebels
  • 1837 Uprising under William Lyon Mackenzie in Canada
  • 1846 C F Schoenbein obtains patent for cellulose nitrate explosive

AppointmentAppointment of Interest

1847 Jefferson Davis is appointed to fill vacant US Senate seat for Mississippi

President of the Confederate States of America Jefferson Davis
President of the Confederate States of America
Jefferson Davis

InventionScientific Discovery

1848 US President James K. Polk triggers Gold Rush of 1849 by confirming a gold discovery in California

11th US President James Knox Polk
11th US President
James Knox Polk
  • 1854 Aaron Allen of Boston patents folding theater chair
  • 1862 Battle of Coffeeville, MS
  • 1865 Chincha Islands War: Peru allies with Chile against Spain.
  • 1872 Ship the Mary Celeste is discovered mysteriously abandoned by her crew in the Atlantic Ocean
  • 1876 Daniel Stillson (Mass) patents 1st practical pipe wrench
  • 1876 Fire at Brooklyn Theater kills 295, trampled or burned to death
  • 1879 1st automatic telephone switching system patented
  • 1881 47th Congress (1881-83) convenes
  • 1887 Stanley's expedition reaches plateau at Lake Albert Congo
  • 1892 Anti-semite Hermann Ahlwardt elected to Germany's Reichstag

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1892 Sir John Thompson becomes the fourth Prime Minister of Canada.

4th Prime Minister of Canada John Thompson
4th Prime Minister of Canada
John Thompson
  • 1893 Electric car built at the Dixon Carriage works in Toronto, could go 15 miles between charges
  • 1894 Georges Feydeaus' "L'hôtel du libre échange" premieres in Paris

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1896 Henrik Ibsen's "Kejsor og Galileer" premieres in Leipzig

Playwright Henrik Ibsen
Henrik Ibsen
  • 1905 Henry Campbell-Bannermam (Lib) becomes UK PM
  • 1908 1st US football uniform numerals used (University of Pittsburgh)
  • 1912 The Triple Alliance among Italy, Austria, and Germany (originally signed in 1882) is renewed for six years, beginning in 1914, a move inspired by instability in the Balkans
  • 1914 The Italian Parliament proclaims the neutrality of the country.
  • 1917 Austro-German Forces launch an offensive against the Italians on the western end of their line, around Asiago
  • 1918 Oil refinery on Curacao opens
  • 1920 Pro football playoff game Akron & Buffalo 0-0 tie, title undecided
  • 1920 Dimitrios Rallis forms a government in Greece.
  • 1925 Hans Luther forced to resign as Chancellor and head of the German Weimar government
  • 1928 England defeats Australia by record 675 runs at Brisbane
  • 1928 Wilhelm Miklas elected president of Austria
  • 1929 1st US nudist organization, the American League for Physical Culture in New York City

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1932 German physicist Albert Einstein granted a visa to enter America

Theoretical Physicist Albert Einstein
Theoretical Physicist
Albert Einstein

Prohibition and The Rise of Al CaponeProhibition and The Rise of Al Capone

1933 Prohibition ends in the US when 21st Amendment to the US Constitution ratified, 18th Amendment repealed (5:32 PM EST)

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Beer is poured down the drains as Prohibition takes a hold in the United States
Beer is poured down the drains as Prohibition takes a hold in the United States
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  • 1935 First commercial hydroponics operation established (Montebello, California)
  • 1935 National Council of Negro Women forms by Mary McLeod Bethune (NYC)
  • 1936 Armenian SSR, Azerbaijan SSR, Georgian SSR, Kazakh SSR & Kirghiz SSR becomes constituent republics of Soviet Union
  • 1941 Football Writers Association of America organized
  • 1941 Patrick Hamilton's "Angel Street" premieres in NYC
  • 1941 Soviet anti-offensive in Moscow drives out Nazi army
  • 1941 Sister Elizabeth Kenny new treatment for infantile paralysis approved

Sinking ShipAttack on Pearl Harbor

1941 US aircraft carrier Lexington and 5 heavy cruisers leave Pearl Harbor

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USS Arizona ablaze and sinking after the attack on Pearl Harbor
USS Arizona ablaze and sinking after the attack on Pearl Harbor
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  • 1942 Seyss-Inquart orders students in nazi-Germany to work
  • 1942 West Indies chocolate/coffee drop above Netherland
  • 1944 German troops steal all the silver coin in Utrecht
  • 1945 Flight 19 the "Lost Squadron" of 5 torpedo bombers and 14 airmen is lost east of Florida in the supposed Bermuda Triangle
  • 1945 Special Council of Annulment affirms death sentence of Max Blokzijl

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1946 US President Harry Truman creates Committee on Civil Rights by Exec Order #9808

33rd US President Harry Truman
33rd US President
Harry Truman
  • 1950 Sikkim becomes a protectorate of India
  • 1952 -8] worst smog in London ever, 4-8,000 die
  • 1955 American Federation of Labor (AFL) and the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) merge to form the AFL-CIO, with George Meany as President

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1955 Historic bus boycott begins in Montgomery Alabama by Rosa Parks

Civil Rights Activist Rosa Parks
Civil Rights Activist
Rosa Parks

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1955 Montgomery Improvement Association formed by Ralph Abernathy, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Edgar Nixon to support the Montgomery bus protest in Montgomery, Alabama

Civil Rights Activist Ralph Abernathy
Civil Rights Activist
Ralph Abernathy
Civil Rights Activist Martin Luther King Jr.
Civil Rights Activist
Martin Luther King Jr.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1956 Thornton Wilder's "Matchmaker" premieres in NYC

Playwright and Writer Thornton Wilder
Playwright and Writer
Thornton Wilder
  • 1957 William Inge's "Dark at the Top of the Stairs" premieres in NYC
  • 1957 NYC is first US city to legislate against racial or religious discrimination in housing market (Fair Housing Practices Law)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1957 President Sukarno of Indonesia expels all Dutch people.

1st President of Indonesia Sukarno
1st President of Indonesia

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1958 Subscriber Trunk Dialling (STD) is inaugurated in the UK by Queen Elizabeth II when she speaks to the Lord Provost in a call from Bristol to Edinburgh.

Queen of the United Kingdom Elizabeth II
Queen of the United Kingdom
Elizabeth II
  • 1958 The Preston bypass, the UK's first stretch of motorway, opens to traffic for the first time. It is now part of the M6 and M55 motorways.
  • 1959 Intikhab Alam bowls Colin McDonald with 1st ball in Tests
  • 1960 Ghana drops diplomatic relations with Belgium
  • 1964 Captain Roger Donlon is awarded the first Medal of Honor of the Vietnam War for successfully repelling a large Viet Cong attack

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1967 Pediatrician Benjamin Spock and poet Allen Ginsberg arrested in New York while protesting against the Vietnam War

Pediatrician Benjamin Spock
Benjamin Spock
Beat Poet Allen Ginsberg
Beat Poet
Allen Ginsberg
  • 1969 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • 1969 Four-node ARPANET network is established
  • 1970 Premiere of Dario Fo's Morte accidentale di un anarchico
  • 1971 Libya nationalizes British Petroleum concession
  • 1972 Australia Labour party wins parliamentary election
  • 1972 Joseph A Walker's "River Niger" premieres in NYC
  • 1974 1st World Football League Bowl, Birmingham Americans beat Florida
  • 1974 Airport terminal roof in Tehran collapses killing 17
  • 1974 Oliver Tilden Triangle in the Bronx named

Birthdays in History

  • 1377 Jianwen, 2nd Emperor of the Ming Empire (1398-1402), born in China (d. 1402)

Person of interestJulius II

1443 Julius II, Italian Pope (1503-13) and patron of Michelangelo, Bramante and Raphael, born in Albisola, Republic of Genoa (d. 1513)

The Warrior Pope Julius II
The Warrior Pope
Julius II
  • 1495 Nicolas Cleynaerts, Flemish grammarian, born in Diest, Belgium (d. 1542)
  • 1537 Ashikaga Yoshiaki, 15th Japanese shōgun, born in Japan (d. 1597)
  • 1539 Fausto Paolo Sozzini, Italian theologian and founder of Socinianism, born in Siena, Holy Roman Empire (d. 1604)
  • 1545 Janus Dousa [Johan van de Does], Dutch politician and poet, born in Noordwijk, Netherlands (d. 1604)
  • 1547 Ubbo Emmius [van Embden], Dutch-Frisian humanist and historian, born in Greetsiel, East Frisia (d. 1625)
  • 1661 Robert Haley, 1st Earl of Oxford and English premier (Whig, 1710-14), born in Covent Garden, Middlesex, Kingdom of England (d. 1725)

Person of interestMartin Van Buren

1782 Martin Van Buren, 8th US President (Democrat: 1837-41), born in Kinderhook, New York (d. 1862)

8th US President Martin Van Buren
8th US President
Martin Van Buren
  • 1786 Henry Drummond, English banker and religious leader, born in The Grange, Hampshire (d. 1860)
  • 1803 Fyodor Tyutchev, Russian poet and statesman, born in Bryansk, Oryol Governorate, Russian Empire (d. 1873)
  • 1820 Afanasy Fet, Russian poet, born in Mtsensk, Russia (d. 1892)
  • 1822 Elizabeth Cabot Agassiz, American educator and the co-founder and first president of Radcliffe College, born in Boston, Massachusetts (d. 1907)
  • 1824 Titian James Coffey, Atty Gen (Union), (d. 1867)
  • 1826 John Benjamin Sanborn, American lawyer, politician, and Brevet Major General (Union Army), born in Epsom, New Hampshire (d. 1904)
  • 1829 Henri-Gustave Joly de Lotbinière, French-Canadian politician (7th Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia), born in Épernay, France (d. 1908)
  • 1830 Christina Rossetti, English poet (Winter Rain, Passing Away), born in London, England (d. 1894)

Person of interestGeorge Armstrong Custer

1839 George Armstrong Custer, United States Army officer and cavalry commander in the American Civil War and the American Indian Wars, born in New Rumley, Ohio (d. 1876)

  • 1841 Marcus Daly, Irish-American mining tycoon, born in Ballyjamesduff, Ulster, Ireland (d. 1900)
  • 1855 Clinton Hart Merriam, American zoologist and ornithologist, born in NYC, New York (d. 1942)

Person of interestJohn Jellicoe

1859 John Jellicoe, 1st Earl Jellicoe, British Admiral of the Fleet in World War I (Battle of Jutland), born in Southampton, England (d. 1935)

British Admiral of the Fleet John Jellicoe
British Admiral of the Fleet
John Jellicoe
  • 1861 Armando Diaz, Italian marshal and minister of War (1922-24), born in Naples, Kingdom of Italy (d. 1928)
  • 1863 Paul Painlevé, French Prime Minister (1917, 1925), born in Paris (d. 1933)

Person of interestJózef Piłsudski

1867 Józef Piłsudski, Father of the Second Polish Republic who served as its Chief of State (1918-22), Marshall of Poland and later its de facto leader (1926-35), born in Zułów, Russian Empire (d. 1935)

Statesman and First Marshall Józef Piłsudski
Statesman and First Marshall
Józef Piłsudski
  • 1867 Antti Aarne, Finnish folklorist, born in Pori, Finland (d. 1925)
  • 1868 Arnold Sommerfeld, German physicist, born in Königsberg, Prussia (d. 1951)
  • 1869 Ellis Parker Butler, American author (Pigs is Pigs), born in Muscatine, Iowa (d. 1937)
  • 1871 Bill Pickett, American rodeo performer (invented bulldogging), born in Jenks-Branch, Texas (d. 1932)
  • 1875 Arthur Currie, Canadian soldier (fought in WWI), born in Napperton, Ontario (d. 1933)
  • 1879 Clyde Cessna, American aviator and airplane manufacturer, born in Hawthorne, Louisiana (d. 1954)
  • 1886 Pieter Oud, Dutch politician and Mayor of Rotterdam (1945-52), born in Purmerend, Netherlands (d. 1968)
  • 1890 David Bomberg, English painter, born in Birmingham, England (d. 1957)
  • 1891 Alexander Rodchenko, Russian painter and photographer, born in St Petersburg (d. 1956)
  • 1894 C. R. Swart, South African politician (1st State President of South Africa 1961-67), born in Winburg, Orange Free State (d. 1982)
  • 1895 Elbert Frank Cox, African-American mathematician (first African-American to receive PhD in Mathematics), born in Evansville, Indiana (d. 1969)
  • 1896 Lady Huxley [Marie Juliette Baillot], Swiss sculptor and author, born in Auvernier, Switzerland (d. 1994)
  • 1896 Willem Frederik Meinhardt Lampe, Dutch ambassador of the Dutch Antilles, born in Netherlands Antilles (d. 1973)
  • 1898 Josh Malihabadi, Urdu poet of India and Pakistan, born in Malihabad, North-Western Provinces, British India (d. 1982)
  • 1901 Werner Heisenberg, German physicist who discovered the uncertainty principle (Nobel 1932), born in Würzburg, Germany (d. 1976)
  • 1901 Milton H. Erickson, American psychiatrist and psychologist, born in Aurum, Nevada (d. 1980)
  • 1902 Strom Thurmond, U.S. Senator (Sen-D/R-SC), born in Edgefield, South Carolina (d. 2003)

Person of interestCecil Frank Powell

1903 Cecil Frank Powell, English physicist who discovered pion (pi-meson), a subatomic particle (Nobel 1950), born in Tonbridge, England (d. 1969)

Physicist and Nobel Laureate Cecil Frank Powell
Physicist and Nobel Laureate
Cecil Frank Powell
  • 1907 Lin Biao, Chinese Communist Marshal during the Civil War and party leader, born in Huanggang, Hubei, Qing Empire (d. 1971)
  • 1907 Giuseppe Occhialini, Italian physicist (Contribution to the discovery of the pion or pi-meson decay), born in Fossombrone, Pesaro, Italy (d. 1993)
  • 1911 Alfred Manessier, French painter (leaded windows), born in Saint-Ouen, Somme, France (d. 1993)
  • 1912 Maisie Fitter, editor and conservationist (d. 1996)
  • 1914 Hans Hellmut Kirst, German author (The Lieutenant Must Be Mad), born in Osterode, Germany (d. 1989)
  • 1914 Lina Bo Bardi, Italian born Brazilian modernist architect (SESC Pompéia Factory), born in Rome, Italy (d. 1992)
  • 1917 Simone Gallimard, French editor and publisher (d. 1995)
  • 1919 Victor Collin Matthews, British businessman, born in Islington, London (d. 1995)
  • 1921 George Henderson, Scottish priest (Bishop of Argyll and the Isles from 1977-92), born in Oban, Scotland (d. 1996)
  • 1923 Vladimir Tendryakov, Russian writer (Three, Seven, Ace), born in Makarovskaya, Vologda Oblast (d. 1984)
  • 1925 Anastasio Somoza Debayle [Tachito], President of Nicaragua (1967-72 and 1974-79), born in León, Nicaragua (d. 1980)
  • 1932 Fazu Aliyeva, Russian poet, novelist and journalist who helped develop Dagestani in Russian literature, born in Khunzakhsky District, Soviet Union (d. 2016)
  • 1932 Sheldon Lee Glashow, American theoretical physicist (Electroweak theory, Georgi–Glashow model), born in NYC, New York
  • 1933 Edward Daly, Irish Bishop "Bloody Sunday" priest, born in Belleek, County Fermanagh (d. 2016)
  • 1934 Joan Didion, American author and journalist (The year of Magical Thinking), born in Sacramento, California
  • 1935 Calvin Trillin, American author (New Yorker), born in Kansas City, Missouri
  • 1936 James Lee Burke, American writer (Dave Robicheaux series), born in Houston, Texas
  • 1939 Jack Whitten, American abstract painter, born in Bessemer, Alabama (d. 2018)
  • 1940 Peter Pohl, Swedish writer, born in Hamburg, Germany
  • 1943 Eva Joly, Norwegian-French magistrate and politician (Europe Écologie–The Greens), born in Grünerløkka, Oslo, Norway
  • 1945 J W "Corkey" Fornof, American stunt coordinator (Octopussy), born in New Orleans, Louisiana
  • 1946 Andy Kim [Andrew Joachim], Canadian rocker (Baby, I Love You), born in Montreal, Quebec
  • 1947 Jugderdemidjin Gurragcha, Mongolian cosmonaut (Soyuz 39), born in Gurvanbulag, Bulgan, Mongolia
  • 1947 Bruce Golding, Jamaican politician (8th Prime Minister of Jamaica 2007-11), born in Chapelton, Jamaica
  • 1947 Tony Gregory, Irish politician, born in Dublin
  • 1949 Bruce E Melnick, American Cmdr USCG/astronaut (STS 41, STS 49), born in NYC, New York
  • 1949 Ray Comfort, New Zealand evangelist, born in Christchurch, New Zealand
  • 1951 Anne-Mie van Kerckhoven, Belgian artist, born in Antwerp
  • 1959 Nikki Gianulias, American ten-pin bowler (LPBT Rookie of Year 1979), born in Vallejo, California
  • 1967 Konstantin-Assen, Prince of Vidin (fourth son of Tsar Simeon II of Bulgaria and his wife Doña Margarita Gómez-Acebo y Cejuela), born in Madrid
  • 1969 Sajid Javid, British politician, Home Secretary (2018-), born in Littleborough, England
  • 1973 Luboš Motl, Czech theoretical physicist, born in Plzeň, Czech Republic
  • 1973 Sorin Grindeanu, Romanian Prime Minister (2017), born in Caransebeș, Romania
  • 1978 Neil Druckmann, Israeli-American writer & co-president Naughty Dog, born in Israel

Weddings in History

LoveWedding of Interest

1926 Gangster Carlo Gambino (24) weds his first cousin Catherine Castellano

Gangster Carlo Gambino
Carlo Gambino
  • 1932 "East of Eden" director Elia Kazan (23) weds playwright Molly Day Thatcher (25)

LoveWedding of Interest

1947 "Spider-Man" creator Stan Lee (24) weds Joan Clayton Boocock

Comic-Book Artist and Marvel Creative Leader Stan Lee
Comic-Book Artist and Marvel Creative Leader
Stan Lee

Deaths in History

  • 63 BC Publius Cornelius Lentulus (Sura), Roman statesman
  • 1212 Derek II of Are, Bishop of Utrecht (1197-1212), dies
  • 1244 Johanna of Constantinople, countess of Flanders (1205-44), dies
  • 1355 Jan III, duke of Brabant/Limburg, dies
  • 1560 Francis II, King of France (1559-60) and husband of Mary, Queen of Scots, dies of an ear infection at 16
  • 1570 Johan Friis, Danish statesman (b. 1494)
  • 1594 Gerardus Mercator, Flemish philosopher/cartographer, dies at 82
  • 1624 Gaspard Bauhin, Swiss botanist (b. 1560)
  • 1654 Jean François Sarrazin, French writer
  • 1675 John Lightfoot, English theologist and scholar (Horae Hebraicae), dies at 73
  • 1749 Pierre Gaultier de Varennes et de la Vérendrye, New French explorer and trader (b. 1685)
  • 1770 James Stirling, Scottish mathematician (Formula of Stirling), dies at 78

Person of interestPhillis Wheatley

1784 Phillis Wheatley, American poet and first published African-American woman, dies in Boston at 31

  • 1818 Bruno Daalberg/Anonymus Belga, sect of High Council Adel, dies at 60
  • 1819 Friedrich Leopold Graf zu Stolberg, German poet, lawyer and translator, dies at 69
  • 1835 August von Platen, German poet, dies at 39

Person of interestAlexandre Dumas

1870 Alexandre Dumas, French writer (The Three Musketeers, The Count of Monte Cristo), dies at 68

  • 1870 David G. Burnet, interim president of the Republic of Texas, dies at 82
  • 1886 Peter Hofstede de Groot, Dutch reformed theologist, dies at 84
  • 1887 Eliza Roxcy Snow, American poet (b. 1804)
  • 1891 Pedro II van Alcantara, Emperor of Brazil (1831-89), dies at 66
  • 1894 Chief Gall, Sioux chief, commander at the Battle of Little Bighorn (b. 1840)
  • 1916 Princess Augusta of Cambridge, Grand Duchess of Mecklenburg-Strelitz and granddaughter of George III, dies at 94
  • 1922 Samuel Muller Fzn, Dutch historian/archivist, dies
  • 1925 Wilhelmina E Drucker [Lensing], Dutch feminist, dies at 78
  • 1925 Władysław Reymont, Polish novelist (Chiopi, Nobel-1924), dies at 58

Person of interestClaude Monet

1926 Claude Monet [Oscar-Claude], French impressionist painter (Water Lilies, Haystacks, Poplars), dies from lung cancer at 86

Impressionist Painter Claude Monet
Impressionist Painter
Claude Monet
  • 1931 Vachel Lindsay, American poet (b. 1879)
  • 1935 Frans Erens, Dutch literary critic (Years Gone By), dies at 78
  • 1940 Mordechai Frizis, Jewish Greek military officer (b. 1893)
  • 1941 Amrita Sher-Gil, Hungarian-Indian painter described as the “Indian Frida Kahlo" and "one of the greatest avant-garde women artists of the early 20th century," dies of complications from a failed abortion at 28
  • 1950 Shri Aurobindo [Aurobindo Ghose], Indian guru and nationalist, dies at 78
  • 1951 Abanindranath Tagore, Indian writer (b. 1871)
  • 1958 Ferdinand Bruckner, writer, dies at 67
  • 1963 Herbert H Lehman, (Gov-D-NY), dies
  • 1963 Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy, Prime Minister of Pakistan (b. 1892)

Person of interestJoseph Erlanger

1965 Joseph Erlanger, American physiologist (shock therapy-Nobel 1944), dies of heart disease at 91

Physiologist Joseph Erlanger
Joseph Erlanger

Person of interestRobert Watson-Watt

1973 Robert Watson-Watt, Scottish physicist and developer of the radar and radio direction finding in WWII, dies at 81

Physicist and Radar Pioneer Robert Watson-Watt
Physicist and Radar Pioneer
Robert Watson-Watt
  • 1977 Aleksandr Vasilevsky, Soviet military commander (b. 1895)
  • 1979 Sonia Delaunay, Russian-born French artist (Orphism), dies at 94
  • 1984 Adam Malik, Third Vice President of Indonesia (b. 1917)
  • 1986 Sir Edward Youde, Governor of Hong Kong (b. 1924)
  • 1990 Steven Shaw, dies at 25
  • 1991 Jill Browne, dies at 54
  • 1991 Richard Speck, American mass murderer (raped and killed 8 student nurses in 1966), dies a day before his 50th birthday
  • 1992 Hilary Tindall, dies of cancer at 54
  • 1992 Sergei Aleksandrovich Yemelyanov, Russian cosmonaut, dies at 41
  • 1993 Alexandre Trauber, Hungarian/French set designer (Harem), dies at 87
  • 1993 Arthur Staal, Dutch architect (Shell Tower Amsterdam), dies at 86
  • 1994 Harry Horner, Austro-Hungarian-born American stage and film designer (The Heiress), dies at 84
  • 1994 Richard Brian Waring Barton-Chapple, writer, dies at 69
  • 1994 Ronald Ridout, English school textbook author (English Today), dies at 78
  • 1994 Günter Meisner, German actor (Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, Between Wars, Adolf Hitler, Quiller Memorandum), dies at 68
  • 1995 Robert Charles Evans, mountaineer/doctor, dies at 77
  • 1995 Victor Collin Matthews, British businessman, dies on 76th birthday
  • 1995 Gwen Harwood, Australian poet (The Lion's Bride), dies at 75
  • 1995 Lisa McPherson, former Scientologist (b. 1959)
  • 1995 Stanley Keith Runcorn, British geophysicist (reversals of earth's magnetic field), dies at 73
  • 1997 Daphne Fielding, British socialite and writer, dies at 93
  • 1998 Al Gore, Sr., American politician (b. 1907)
  • 2001 Franco Rasetti, Italian physicist (b. 1901)
  • 2002 Ne Win, Burmese leader (b. 1911)
  • 2005 Ed Masry, American lawyer (b. 1932)
  • 2005 Kevin "Big Kev" McQuay, Australian businessman (b. 1949)
  • 2005 Frits Philips, Dutch engineer and CEO (Philips), dies at 100
  • 2008 Patriarch Alexy II of Russia, head of the Russian Orthodox Church (b. 1929)
  • 2008 Constantin Ticu Dumitrescu, Romanian politician and president of the Association of Romanian Former Political Prisoners. (b. 1928)
  • 2009 Vimolchatra, Princess of Thailand and cousin of King Bhumibol Adulyadej (b. 1921)
  • 2012 Oscar Niemeyer, Brazilian architect (Brasilia), dies from a respiratory infection at 104

Person of interestNelson Mandela

2013 Nelson Mandela, South African anti-apartheid activist, political prisoner (1962-90) and President of South Africa (1994-99), dies of a lung infection at 95

Anti-apartheid activist and South African President Nelson Mandela
Anti-apartheid activist and South African President
Nelson Mandela
  • 2013 Colin Wilson, English writer (Afterlife, Book of Great Mysteries), dies at 82
  • 2016 E. R. Braithwaite, Guyanese diplomat and writer (To Sir with Love), dies at 104
  • 2016 Shirley Hazzard, Australian-born author (Transit of Venus), dies at 85
  • 2016 Mogens Camre, Danish politician (Folketing (Danish Parliament), 1968-1987, 3 days in 2007; European Parliament, 1999-2009, dies at 80
  • 2016 Robert Sumner, American evangelist and author, dies at 94
  • 2017 Surin Pitsuwan, Thai foreign minister and 12th Secretary General of ASEAN (2008-2012), dies from heart failure at 68
  • 2017 Michael I, King of Romania (1927-1930 and 1940-1947), dies from cancer at 96